State Sen. Greg Brophy makes his gubernatorial pitch to Aspen
Colorado state Sen. Greg Brophy stopped in Aspen on Monday as part of a whirlwind tour for his 2014 gubernatorial campaign.
Brophy spoke before the Pitkin County Republicans at the Hotel Jerome after meeting with a newspaper in Salida and giving a speech in Pueblo. In a telephone interview with The Aspen Times en route to Aspen, the 46-year-old Republican said that while his Sunday announcement came on the early side, he needs to get his name out.
Already, former Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo has announced his candidacy; Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler is expected to vie for the GOP nomination as well.
A fourth-generation Coloradoan and farmer in Wray, Brophy said his political views cannot be pigeonholed.
“It’s next too impossible to put me in any individual box,” he said. “I’m definitely a Second Amendment guy. I’m certainly a fiscal conservative, and I’m pretty libertarian. I’m driving a Prius, and I’m a strong supporter of oil and gas development out on the Eastern Plains. That’s where we make our lifeblood.”
Brophy, whose campaign website calls him “one of the state’s most conservative lawmakers,” was elected to the state house in 2002, before Gov. Bill Owens appointed him to fill a vacancy in Senate District 1, which comprises 11 counties in rural eastern Colorado, in 2005.
He said that while the fringe issues will surface during the campaign — he said he is “pro-life” and considers the civil-union question “now settled” — he wants to focus on the state’s “bread and butter” topics: jobs, the economy, education and roads.
“Obviously big government” is what he’s against, Brophy said, noting he would be a “governor who’s committed to staying away from your gun cabinet and away from your power meter and protecting all of your liberties.”
“If we’re blessed with a Republican-controlled Legislature, we’ll roll back the gun-control laws,” he said in reference to the state law that requires universal background checks on gun sales and sets a 15-round restriction on ammunition magazines. The two laws took effect July 1; Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the bills into law in March.
He said he favors fencing the U.S./Mexican border, but voted for a bill in the last legislative session that provides students who are in the country illegally with the in-state tuition rates.
“They’re home in Colorado,” Brophy said of the students. “And they’re not going away, and you can’t force them away.”
Brophy also said one way to improve the state’s education system is to get rid of waiting lists at charter and magnet schools.
Brophy said he realizes he doesn’t have the same name recognition as Tancredo and Gessler but said he believes he’s the most electable candidate for the governor’s seat.
“The most important thing is, I think I can win a statewide election,” Brophy said, noting that Tancredo has unsuccessfully run for governor in the past and Gessler “has no experience in state government to speak of.”
“I don’t think we need another four years of on-the-job training,” Brophy said.
As part of his four-day tour, Brophy is scheduled to be on the stump in Rifle and Palisade today, before appearing in Colorado Springs and Loveland on Wednesday.
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